Why fashion brands are collaborating with dead midcentury architects

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An enormous of mid-century fashionable design, architect Gio Ponti could also be most well-known for the Pirelli skyscraper in Milan, a tapered tower accomplished in 1960 that’s thought to be one of many hallmarks of Italian modernism. Along with 100 different buildings in Italy, he’s additionally recognized for his furnishings design, and for being the founding editor of Domus magazine. Now, Ponti’s various physique of labor is being translated into eyeglass frames.

Eyewear maker Oliver Peoples has simply launched a new line of frames inspired by Ponti’s work—and carrying his identify. Developed in collaboration with the Gio Ponti archives, the brand new frames are available three types and have sharp traces over rounded eye items. Two kinds of thick-framed eyeglasses come with clip-on sun shades which have a daring horizontal bar connection manufactured from polished titanium. The glasses promote for $625 and up.

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[Photo: courtesy Oliver Peoples]

It’s the most recent crossover model collaboration to see a midcentury designer’s work translated into wearable, present fashion. Like shoe model Reebok’s current line of sneakers inspired by the multidisciplinary designs of Charles and Ray Eames, Oliver Peoples’s Gio Ponti line seeks to carry the designer’s signature touches to a brand new and maybe surprising medium.

“We wished to pay homage to a real grasp of structure and design,” says Giampiero Tagliaferri, inventive director for Oliver Peoples. “We selected Ponti as somebody who was a real visionary in his discipline whose work felt typically linked to the story of workmanship that we are telling.”

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[Photo: courtesy Oliver Peoples]

Ponti, who is understood within the U.S. for his design of a major building at the Denver Museum of Art, was a multitalented designer, working throughout structure, furnishings and product design, textiles, and ceramics. He created flatware units for Krupp and a modern collection of bathroom fixtures for Ideal Standard, together with a sculpture-like bathroom and bidet. Greater than 4 a long time after he died in 1979, his work is crossing over into fashion.

Tagliaferri says the brand new eyewear line was impressed by Ponti’s use of fresh traces, sharp angles, and architectural shapes. “The strategy took into consideration his design philosophy of blending aesthetic and useful components put collectively with refined proportions and beautiful stability,” he says.

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[Photo: courtesy Oliver Peoples]

Evoking the identify and aesthetics of a well-regarded modernist designer is as a lot a type of flattery as it’s a enterprise transfer. Shawn Grain Carter is an affiliate professor of fashion enterprise administration on the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She says most of these collaborations are taking place with varied design homes. “What they’re discovering is the shopper appreciates the modernist design aesthetic—however with a twist,” Carter says. “What higher manner to try this than with an artist or an architect or a musician?”

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[Photo: courtesy Oliver Peoples]

Carter says the modernist aesthetic of designers like Ponti is seeing renewed curiosity amongst youthful generations that are more and more aware about local weather change and wish design that’s in concord with nature and the surroundings. They need pure supplies and for designs to embody the ethos of “kind follows perform.”

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[Photo: courtesy Oliver Peoples]

“You hear all people saying ‘clear traces, clear traces.’ What does that imply? It means the simplicity of the design. That, they will relate to,” Carter says. “They won’t understand it’s influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright or the Bauhaus, they may not know who constructed the Pirelli skyscraper in Milan, however they perceive it.”

Carter expects modernism to proceed to pop up in fashion-brand collaborations going ahead, whether or not youthful customers perceive the historic background or not.

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For Oliver Peoples, a part of the Milan-based eyewear conglomerate Luxottica, the Ponti-inspired line is a option to faucet into this curiosity and in addition to have fun an eminent Italian designer. As Tagliaferri says, “Our collaboration is only a small homage to the affect that Gio Ponti has had on the design world.”